Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Damian’s 4x4x48 challenge to beat meningitis

Andy Hopkinson | 19th June 2021

Carpet fitter Damian has got it nailed down when it comes to extreme running challenges

Damian’s 4x4x48 challenge to beat meningitis

The 39-year-old dad from Chesterfield took on the 4x4x48 challenge, which entails running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours.

Damian’s partner Faye told us: “Damian enjoys running, but he knew that this challenge would push him both mentally and physically. 

“The lack of sleep was probably the most difficult part. During the 48-hour period he had approximately only eight hours sleep in total.”

Effort well worth it

But all the effort was well worth it in the end, as Damian raised an amazing £2,694 to support our ongoing work. Faye, a 33-year-old receptionist, added: “Our son Archie had Group B Strep Meningitis at three days old and as a result he has been diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay. The support Meningitis Now gives to families is invaluable and we are pleased to be able to help raise money for such an amazing charity. I have messaged Meningitis Now on a couple of occasions and they have always been quick to reply and very thorough with their response.

Archie’s story

“The day after Archie, our only child, was born we took him home. He was restless and constantly cried. He then stopped feeding. We took him to the out of hours at 11pm on the Sunday evening and they sent us up to our local hospital. The hospital did a blood test and we knew from the results that he had some sort of infection and they started Archie on antibiotics immediately. They then did a lumbar puncture. The results came back at 3am on Monday morning and we got the devastating news that Archie had meningitis!

Two weeks in hospital

“Archie spent the next two weeks in hospital. During the first week Archie started having seizures and we were moved to HDU. They gave Archie medication to try and prevent any further seizures, which luckily worked! 

“An MRI scan and CT scan showed that the meningitis has caused damage to a part of Archie's brain and he was diagnosed with having Global Developmental Delay. It was a waiting game to see how he would develop. Archie had regular physio sessions (he didn't start to walk until he was 2 years old) and he continues to see a speech and language therapist.

“He is in mainstream school but is delayed in all areas. We have recently been successful in applying for an Education Health Care Plan for him, which will mean he will be supported throughout his time in education. Archie was also recently diagnosed with having ADHD.

Full of life

“Archie is full of life though and has a fantastic group of friends. He loves nothing more than playing football – like his dad, who plays for Sheffield FC, the world’s oldest football club.

“And Archie’s grandparents are a big help and very supportive, as they know how challenging it can be at times.”

Leah Wynn, our Fundraising Officer, commented: “What a fantastic achievement and we’re so grateful for the support Damian – your efforts will make a real difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have been changed forever because of it.”